A Principal Component Analysis of Nursing Students’ Satisfaction with Blended E-learning following the Covid-19 Pandemic

Author(s): N Tayyib, F Alsolami, HI Asfour, P Ramaih, EE Ahmed, I Nomani, GM Lindsay

Background: Covid-19 restrictions following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the educational sector to quickly introduce blended e-learning. Objective: To assess student satisfaction with this rapid change to e-blended learning within an existing nursing programme. Participants: A 35 item questionnaire, subdivided into the educational domains of Interaction, Instruction, Instructor, Management and Technology, was circulated to 478 nursing students. In total, n=283 (59.2%) responses were received from 84 (n=32+37+15) male and 199 (n=58+66+75) female students in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of study respectively.

Methods: Principal component analysis, summary and comparative statistics were used to rate and compare domain satisfaction for the whole group, between genders and across different years of study, and to explore sub-themes underlying student satisfaction. Results: 58.8% of responses registered positive satisfaction with 17.7% registering dissatisfaction. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed domain satisfaction ranging from 74.9% to 80.6% with similar male/female ratings except for Year-2 management (p=0.002). Year-3/Year-4 satisfaction was also similar across domains and significantly higher than Year-2 for Instruction (p=0.027) and Instructor (p≤001). PCA suggested that

• Approximately 55% of nursing students felt uninhibited when participating within a mixed gender environment;
• Approximately 30% of nursing students preferred blended e-learning over face-to-face learning;
• Approximately 60% of students registered satisfaction with the management of out-of-classroom issues including accessibility of learning materials and evaluation of course work etc.
• Approximately 70% of students believe satisfactory course management relied primarily on Instructors maintaining class discipline.

Conclusion: Nursing students reported good satisfaction with the immediate transition to an unfamiliar e-learning blended curriculum. More mature students (Year-3 and Year-4) demonstrated better technological skill, resilience and fortitude than Year-2 students when presented with this rapidly changing environment.

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